Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sun Media,
As much as we love playoff hockey, it seems to bring out the worst in us.
Sure, sitting on the couch for hours on end, drinking alcoholic beverages and eating salty snacks sounds good in theory. But after a few weeks, the playoff beard gets itchy, our liver and bulging stomach start to complain and our office pool survivors dwindle to a couple of third-line wingers.
In short, we turn into bitter, angry people.
Would somebody please put Bob Cole out of his misery? Every time the whistle blows, it takes a couple of minutes and several replays before the poor guy is finally able to figure out what happened.
more and it gets worse…
from the Calgary Sun,
While suspensions are more likely for teammates Jamie McLennan and Daymond Langkow, there’s a slim possibility Iginla could miss a game, too. Pierre McGuire, the NBC colour man who was parked between the benches yesterday, saw what he thought was Iginla butt-ending Schneider during their battle. He said as much on the air.
There weren’t any replays available in the press box but Iginla—known as a fierce competitor on the ice but maybe one of the most docile men off it—swears he would never do that.
“I don’t think I’ve tried to butt-end a guy, ever,” Iginla said, adding he was trying to use his arms to get a better position on Schneider.
added 7:55am, In case you missed the slash on Franzen.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Everyone is against the Islanders. Everyone is even against the Islanders’ Ice Girls. Woe is the Islanders, for they get no respect from anyone. Ryan Hollweg should have been suspended too, not just Chris Simon.
Steve Begin was at fault for Rick DiPietro’s first concussion and Sean Avery for the second. All those goals that didn’t count should have, and those that did count shouldn’t have.
If you don’t believe it, just ask them. Wait. You don’t have to ask them. They’ll tell you anyway, all day, every day….
Nolan played the victim card for the years he was out of the NHL. Now he and his team play it routinely. It’s time to lose it, permanently, before the victimization angle evolves into a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.
from David Boclair of the Daily News Journal,
Following three straight first-round playoff defeats, many Nashville Predators’ fans are wondering aloud on radio and on message boards whether coach Barry Trotz ought to be replaced.
Somehow, general manager David Poile has been given a pass, but in many ways Poile did not give Trotz as much to work with as a year ago. In that way, Poile has had as much — if not more — to do with the current state of affairs as Trotz.
from Greg Logan at On the Islanders Beat,
Now that Smyth’s Long Island experience has ended after 24 games, one of which he sat out with an injury, it’s the right time to share his comments about what it has been like to wear another uniform since his stunning trade on Feb. 27 from Edmonton. My first question to Smyth was about a recent poll conducted by The Hockey News in which the Islanders were rated as the third-worst team to be traded to in the NHL. Oddly enough, they finished behind Buffalo and Smyth’s beloved Edmonton.
“Ever since I’ve been here, the organization has been great, the players have been good,” Smyth said. “I have no regrets. The longer you stay, the better you feel.”
more from Smyth…
from Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif of the New York Times,
There is always plenty of blame to go around when a team loses in the playoffs. This postseason, some of that blame has been directed at Russian stars: Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta, Alexei Yashin of the Islanders, even the Pittsburgh rookie Evgeni Malkin.
In the 1970s and ’80s, North American coaches, team officials and commentators routinely criticized European players in general for being soft and lacking the character needed for the rugged Stanley Cup playoffs. Although that point of view is rarely heard today, it still has its proponents, like the CBC commentator Don Cherry (who is also working for NBC).
As die-hard hockey fans, we know the Flames were trying to send a message to the Wings today.
In my opinion, they went too far. McLennan should be gone for the rest of the playoffs and if Calgary is eliminated, serve at least 10 games next season.
The other “messages” sent by the Flames late in the game should be looked at too.
Not the way to end any game, and believe me, the media will be all over this.
added 8:12pm, from the AP via TSN,
The slash might lead to a stiff suspension from the NHL, which gave the Islanders’ Chris Simon a 25-game suspension for viciously swinging his stick last month.
McLennan didn’t talk to reporters after the game.
“I think the league will take a look at a few things that happened,” Zetterberg said.
Flames star Jarome Iginla got into the act, with hooking and cross-checking penalties with 43 seconds left with aggressive stick work.
“It was really about getting some fights going at that point to keep our energy up and carry some anger into the next game,” Iginla said with several new stitches over his left eye. “We’re not going away.”
Will any road team win a game in the Flames/Wings series?
Wings have a chance tomorrow night and I believe the game will go to the team with the best legs.
I believe this will be Hasek’s first back-to-back game of the year.
Tighten the straps boys, it is going to be a great game.
from the Edmonton Journal,
In a full-page newspaper advertisement in both Edmonton dailies, Patrick LaForge details a string of obstacles, including injuries and extended road trips, that hampered the Oilers’ performance this year. Under the headline, Proud to be in Oil Country, the letter from LaForge also defends Edmonton as a great place to play hockey.
“It’s our annual report back to the fans and the community on how we did,” LaForge told the Journal in an interview today.
from the Calgary Herald,
By now you’re probably getting the idea that Bertuzzi is one big set of shoulders. And that was on a night when the Flames won. Hand them a loss and the Flames will probably have him rivalling the Great Khali. His mass is especially noticeable on nights when Robyn Regehr, the Flames’ redwood, is out of the lineup—as he likely will be the rest of this series.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock obviously spied Bertuzzi barging through Calgary’s zone like a piano mover on Thursday.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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